Broke BR Highlanders plunge into crisis

BR Highlanders Pic Kabo Mpaetona
BR Highlanders Pic Kabo Mpaetona

PALAPYE: The beMOBILE Premiership side, BR Highlanders is broke and battling to shell out players’ dues after exhausting its budget from sponsors, the Botswana Railways (BR).

The clubs’ spokesperson, Jacob Monyeki confirmed to Mmegi Sport that the team is struggling financially which he said has contributed to their poor performance.  Highlanders have nine points from nine games and lie 12th on the log.

Monyeki said the team is struggling to fulfill fixtures. After exhausting their budget, the club now relies on grants from the Premier League, which are however not reliable or sufficient, Monyeki said.

Monyeki said when they approached the parastatal for assistance they were told they had exhausted their budget.

“Our sponsor told us that the money we were using in the 2013-2014 season was also supposed to be used this season. BR told us we have already spent our allocation for the season,” he said.

He called for Good Samaritans to come to their rescue. He said the team management was tasked with searching for other sponsors to assist the team. The poor team performance has affected boardroom relations, with some members threatening to quit as uncertainty grips the club. Monyeki admitted that the financial crisis has affected the players as this is the second month they would be paid late. “There was a time last month when the players didn’t train for two days as they were not paid. We are afraid that this might happen again this month because they have not received their payments. We are still waiting for the (Premiership) grants,” he said.

However, he said they have written to BR chief executive officer (CEO) seeking audience. He said they have not yet received any response as the CEO is said to be outside the country. The club management met players last month to brief them about the situation. In addition, they are yet to meet the technical team to find out what might be the other problem besides finances and map the way forward. Highlanders’ next assignment is against fellow strugglers, Gilport Lions at the Serowe Sports Complex.

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